In the world of video sharing, the biggest goal is to attract as many viewers as possible to your content. In recent years, closed captioning has become one of the most powerful tools for reaching new audiences. While this may seem like a minor detail, consider that a staggering 75 % of users view videos on mobile devices. Many of these people simply do not have the time or proper setup to sit down and watch a video from beginning to end, fully immersed in its sound AND visuals.
Moreover, people tend to feel much more compelled to watch videos to the end when captions are included. They are 80% more likely to do so, to be precise.
Still not convinced? Here are the most important reasons why you should be captioning your videos.
7 Reasons Why Captioning Is Important for Videos
1. Multilingual Learning
Learning a new language can be a challenge, especially if you are not likely to speak that language every day. Poring over textbooks and worksheets can grow tedious. Fortunately, that is where captions can come into play. When language learners read the captions as they watch a video in a foreign language, they are not only fully engaging with the language in a practical way. They also get the opportunity to see specific words in actions, which promotes listening comprehension, boosts grasp of grammar, and builds vocabulary.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Video is not something most people consider when they think of SEO. In most cases, search engines won’t pick up on valuable information in the videos themselves––that is, unless you provide the text they need to help you rank higher.
Captioning serves as a written transcription of your content. This way, when crawling programs that index web content for major search engines, yours will come out on top when these tools pick up on specific keywords and phrases. In turn, people will more readily see your content!
3. Language Acquisition
Those who are learning to speak a second or third language are not the only ones who can benefit from captioning. Children who are just getting a grasp on how to communicate through language will also find captioning useful.
In fact, one study found that children who watch videos with captions remember more about the content afterwards and score higher on reading and writing tests. This means captioned content can be a great resource and learning tool for both babies and young children.
4. Ease of Editing
Captioning provides a script for your video. This can make video editing much easier, as you can quickly jump from one section to another simply by searching for specific words and phrases. So long as you remember what was being said or talked about in a particular section, you can find what you need to find almost within seconds.
5. More Possibilities for Viewing
As we mentioned above, people are not always present in an environment that allows them to watch a video from start to finish without interruption. Spaces that are very loud like public buses and busy parks can have so many noises going at once that tuning into a video can be near impossible, even with headphones Similarly, quiet places like classrooms or hospitals are just not suitable for audible viewing. Captions allow for content engagement in any of these situations and many more.
6. International Engagement
Multilingual captioning allows people in distant parts of the world to watch and comprehend your videos. This can be a huge boost for the popularity of your video content, as you can extend your reach beyond just one predictable demographic. Captioning simply makes your content more accessible to all, which makes it that much more engaging.
On-screen captioning enables those who are deaf or have hearing conditions to view your content. If your captioning contains emotional and environmental sound cues, those unable to hear your audio will be able to understand and engage with it just as well as those who can. We will touch upon this more below.
Benefits of Captions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Population
One of the most important reasons to add captioning to videos is to give access to those who either cannot hear or have a special condition which makes engaging with audio content difficult. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) urged all public programming to include closed captioning so that those who are deaf or otherwise hard of hearing can consume media. This law still applies today. Adding it to your content is a great way to abide by this legislation and get your video recommended by major search engines
Today, the World Health Organization estimates that roughly 466 million people worldwide have some degree of hearing loss. As such, closed captioning in your videos can also help you reach a potentially untapped source of views and activity.
That said, it is also important to remember to transcribe all sounds in a video to allow for complete comprehension. Environmental sounds like tires screeching or dogs barking and emotional sounds like crying or sighing are vital to the tone and message of your video and should be included if you want to fully immerse every member of your audience in the world you have captured on screen.
Captions for a Multilingual Audience
Perhaps the greatest benefit of captioning your videos, however, is that they will now be accessible to parts of the world which speak different languages than you do.
To boost views on a video, there is no better tactic than increasing your reach. Enabling people from other parts of the world with different tastes, interests, ideas, and cultures to have access to your content makes it significantly more likely that it will go viral somewhere and spawn loyal enclaves of viewers in many different places.
People might also want to engage with your content specifically because it’s in a different language. Watching films and television shows in other languages is an extremely popular way to acquire a new language. Including subtitles in various languages attracts these types of viewers because captions can act either as a cheat sheet or an added challenge.
Including captions in many foreign languages, thus, can increase your viewer base to include people from around the world eager either to understand your content, learn from it, or both.
How Maestra Helps
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to optimize your video content, Maestra is the perfect all-in-one tool for transcription, captioning, and dubbing.
If all you need is a text copy of your video’s audio, Maestra can produce a full transcript in minutes or seconds. Just upload your video to our website in any format and select the transcription tool. Text can be translated into over fifty languages and the resulting file formatted as an MS Word document, a pdf, .srt, .txt, and more.
Captioning, however, is where Maestra truly shines. Maestra will transcribe your video into the desired language, then generate a full set of captions automatically synchronized to the audio. This saves you from having to manually type in or align captions and eliminates the need for a special separate caption file.
Maestra’s industry-leading speech recognition software means that spelling errors in your captions will be minimized, saving you time and energy on rewriting. Of course, if things like names or muffled words need tweaking, Maestra includes a quick and simple editing module for putting on the finishing touches.
Your captions and video can then be exported together as a .mp4 or separately, with the captions stored in an automatically formatted text file. If you don’t want to worry about moving big files around, you can even share your project straight from Maestra’s website.
Though different from captioning, Maestra also offers multilingual dubbing to help you better reach foreign audiences. Audio can be translated into other languages and then fed into a vocal synthesizer and overlaid on your footage to produce a synced dub. This is a great way to reach foreign viewers who would rather not read captions through an entire video.
Finally, for all those big projects which require collaborative effort, Maestra offers virtual platforms to help teams better communicate and work together. The cooperation ensures that the content you create is effective, polished, and the best it can be.
How to Get Started With Maestra
Now that you know what a big difference captioning can make for your videos, come visit our website to try out Maestra’s powerful suite of programs. You can try a free version right now and get 30 minutes of footage on us! Come and see what Maestra can do for you and for your content.